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HQ 951910

September 24, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 951910 LPF


TARIFF NO.: 9503.49.00

Ms. Lina Vaughan
BJ Customs Brokerage Co.
P.O. Box 91034
Los Angeles, CA 90009-1034

RE: "Burd" hand puppet with plastic support arm and textile glove; Heading 9503, HTSUSA; Other toy; Toy accessories; Parts and accessories; Note 3 to Chapter 95.

Dear Ms. Vaughan:

This is in response to your letter of May 27, 1992, submitted on behalf of Toi, regarding the proper classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), of a "Burd" hand puppet. You submitted a sample with your request for a binding ruling.


The article, imported from Hong Kong, consists of a full- figured hand puppet depicting a bird and a plastic "fake arm" support which is clothed in a textile hand glove. The gloved, fake arm support is strapped, as an extension, on to the child's arm. The child inserts his or her hand through the glove opening, then through a hole in the glove and up into the puppet body where he or she can manipulate the puppet at a 90 degree angle to his or her arm and the fake arm support extension. This creates the illusion that the bird is perched on the child's arm.


Whether the "Burd" hand puppet is classifiable, in its entirety, in heading 9503, HTSUSA, as an other toy or is classifiable in the headings providing for its components, that is, the hand puppet in 9503, the plastic arm in Chapter 39 as an article of plastic, and the textile hand glove in a textile provision subject to visa requirements and quota restraint levels.


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) taken in their appropriate order provide a framework for classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA. The majority of imported goods are classified by application of GRI 1, that is, according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative section or chapter notes. The Explanatory Notes (EN's) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUSA by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI's.

Heading 9503, HTSUSA, pertains in part, to "other toys." The EN's to Chapter 95, HTSUSA, indicate that "this chapter covers toys of all kinds whether designed for the amusement of children or adults." It is Customs position that the amusement requirement means that toys should be designed and used principally for amusement. See Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(a), HTSUSA. Customs defines principal use as that use which exceeds each other single use of the article. In this case, since the hand puppet will be principally used as a toy, it is classifiable in 9503.

Note 3 to Chapter 95 states that parts and accessories which are suitable for use solely or principally with articles of this chapter are to be classified with those articles. The EN's to 9503 reiterate that the heading includes identifiable parts and accessories of the articles classifiable within that heading. Thus, we must consider whether the fake arm and textile hand glove are parts or accessories to the hand puppet.

Originally, for an article to be classified as a part of another article, that article must have been "something necessary to the completion of that article...[and] an integral, constituent, or component part, without which the article to which it is to be joined, could not function as such article." United States v. Willoughby Camera Stores, Inc., 21 CCPA 322, 324, T.D. 46, 51 (1933), cert. denied, 292 U.S. 640 (1934); United States v. Antonio Pompeo, 43 CCPA 9, 11, C.A.D. 602 (1955). This rule has been somewhat modified so that a device may be considered a part of an article even though the device is not necessary to the operation of the article, provided that once the device is installed, the article cannot function properly without it. Clipper Belt Lacer Co., Inc. v. United States, Slip Op. 90-22 (Ct. Int'l Trade, decided March 13, 1990).

In this case, the hand puppet, arguably, can function properly without the fake arm and hand glove. Thus, these articles do not fit the criteria describing a part. Alternatively, the arm and glove may be considered accessories.

Since there is no legal definition provided in the HTSUSA for an "accessory," we must use other sources to define the term. An accessory is defined as, "a thing of secondary importance; an object or device not essential in itself but adding to the... convenience or effectiveness of something else." See Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary 49 (1990). See also Auto- Ordinance Corp. v. U.S., 822 F.2d 1566 (Fed. Cir. 1987), citing, U.S. v. Liebert, 59 CCPA 43, C.A.D. 1035, 450 F.2d 1405 (1971). Among other things, accessories may widen the range of uses of the main article. The arm and glove, although not essential in themselves, add to the effectiveness and widen the range of use of the puppet, providing the illusion that the bird is perched on the child's arm. Additionally, these articles, by their particular shape, size and coloring are especially designed to be used with the hand puppet. We also note that they are sold within the same retail package as the hand puppet. Thus, because the fake arm and hand glove appear to be principally used with the hand puppet, they may be considered accessories. As the hand puppet is classifiable in heading 9503, the fake arm and hand glove are classifiable, in the same heading, as accessories to the puppet.


The "Burd" hand puppet and accompanying fake arm and hand glove are classifiable in subheading 9503.49.00, HTSUSA, as "Other toys;...parts and accessories thereof: Toys representing animals or non-human creatures (for example, robots and monsters) and parts and accessories thereof: Other." The general column one rate of duty is 6.8 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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